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BULLETIN 



OF THE 

Madras Government Museum 

EDITED BY THE S'JPERUTTEHDEHT 



CATA OCUE OF THE 

SOUTH INDIAN HINDU METAL IMAGES IN THE 
MADRAS GOVERNMENT MUSEUM 



F. H. GRAVELY, djc. 

AND 

T. N. RAMACHANDRAN. M>. 

S*unm*i DCam~n DTUj— 



New Series— Central Section Vo I. /. Pi. 2 



MADRAS 

PRINTED BY THE S'Jj'EiO-NTENDE.NT, GOVaiLNMlNT J-BES* 



fuel, J mjtu a tmmdj J 






ERRATA. 



Page. 




Line. 




6 




... 13 


... 


8 




... 22 


... 


9 




6 




9 




... 29 




IO 




1 


... 


10 




... 34 


... 


II 




footnote 1 1 





... line 2| 



For 

... SrJ/iiuJsa ... 

... Afdhini ... ... 

... BhultU-Alvdr 
... dchdryns ... 

... sanyasis ... 

... Chandraiikhra 

... before the fail moon. 



Read 

... Srhtivdsa 

... Mdhiui 

... 

... dchdrytts 
... sanyasins 
... ChoMdraiikhara 

( before the new and 
*** l full moons. 



II 




footnote 2 ) 
line 3 ) 


... 


... 


pircst ». 


... 


... 


priest 


II 




footnote 3 1 
line 2 J 


... 




Nilakanfha ... 


... 




NUakaiftha 


12 




9 






vetebra! 




• •• 


vertebral 


12 




... 39 




•O 


Reijardjtfvari 


... 




Rdjar$jHvarl 


13 




... 1 






Saptam&trikds 






Saptam&lrikds 


15 




... 18 


... 




sit! a 


..v 


M* 


su! a 


21 




... 2 




... 


Pollonaruwa 


... 


• •• 


Polonnaruwa 


28 




... I 




... 


arc 






is 


28 




... 17 


M • 




persuing 


... 


... 


pursuing 


28 




~ 34 




... 


Laksmi ... 


... 


.. 


Lakshmi 


37 




6 

rn 






rccicved ... 

W ■■•'•It < 


... 


•** 


received 
Such an 


37 




... 19 


• • • 




OULU da ••• 








37 




footnote 2 


• • • 


... 


snort 






short 


38 




3 


• • • 




superstaucture 


••• 


... 


superstructure 


38 




8 


... 


... 


inherant 


... 


*• • 


inherent 


38 




... 19 




... 


1500 


... 




1510 


47 




3 






proverty 


... 


... 


poverty 


54 




... 23 






Yasoda-Krisna 1 


... 


... 


Yasoda-Krishna 1 


59 




... 36 






vaist band ... 


... 




waist band 


6l 




5 


... 


• •• 


bu- ... 


... 




but 


90 




... 33 






Kulasekara 


... 




Kulasekhara 


102 




- 35 




• •• 


Chandrasekara 


... 


Chandrasekhara 


1 12 




... 35 


... 




(= A.D. 1510) 


••• 


... 


(= A.D. 1511) 


1 19 




... 35 


... 


... 


pendent 




... 


pendant 


122 




... Last line 


... 


nand ut tn 


... 


((« 


it aucluttu 


124 




... 1 


... 


... 


pendent 


... 


... 


pendant 


132 




footnote 2 


... 


... 


“ Elemen’s ... 






" Elements 


133 




line 33 


... 




flattened ... 


... 




flattened 


136 




... 14 


... 




115 cm 






115 cm. 


I40 




4 


... 


... 


Naikkuppam 


... 


... 


Naikuppam 




II 

CATALOGUE OF THE 

SOUTH INDIAN HINDU METAL IMAGES IN THE 
MADRAS GOVERNMENT MUSEUM 



nr 

F. H. GRAVELY, d.sc. 



T. N RAMACHANDRAN. m.a. 

G+itf - mr at JVuhu m, S\CiiJro$ 



(PMhheJ- September 1932) 




CONT E NTS. 



Introductory matter 

Previous work on metal images from South India and Ceylon 

Iconography 

Madras 

Clothes and articles of adornment 

Archaeology 

Prof. Jouveau-Dubreuil’s conclusions ... 

Evidence from the Madras Museum collection and from inscribed images elsewhere 

Necklaces ... 

Summary of conclusions 

Hindu metal images from Polonnaruwa 

Character and geographical distribution of treasure trove finds from South India 
The Madras Museum collection — material and methods employed in cataloguing 

Images specially associated with Brahma 

Vaishnavite images — 

Vishnu (various forms) .- 

Sri Devj (Lakshmi) and Bhu Devi 

The wives of Vasudeva 

Incarnations of Vishnu and his consorts 

Garuda ... ... ... ... ... ... 

Hanutnan ... ... ... . ... 

Alvars (Vaishnavite saints) ... ... 

Acharvas (Vaishnavite teachers) ... ... ... .. 

Emblems of Vishnu 

Vishnu's feet and sandals 
Saivite images — 

Siva (various forms) 

Ardhanarisvara 

p " vali - 

Devi (as Durga, Kali, etc.) 

Ganesa 

Subruhmanya ... ... ... ... ... 

Aiyanar 

Nandi ... * * 

Dvarapalaka and Dvarapalilca ... 

Saivite saints 

Saivite emblems 

Images not specially associated with Brahma, Vishnu or Siv 

Surya 

Manmatb.i and Rati 

Unidentified deities 

Attendants ... 

Semi-divine heroes (Ar juna) 

Rishis 

Worshippers, etc. 

Grama devatas (village deities), etc. 



... 



Page 
... I 
3 

- 5 
... 17 

... 18 

... 20 

... ar 
... 35 

... 34 
... 40 
... 43 

... 47 

... 6l 

... <5a 
... 63 

... 73 
... 76 
... 76 
... 94 
... 95 

... 96 
... 9« 
... 99 
... too 

... too. 
... n 6 
... 117 
... tao 
... 134 
... 135 
... 137 
... 139 
... 130 

... 130 
... 13S 

... 136 

- *37 

- *37 

... I3S 
... 138 

... r 3 8 
... 138 
... 139 




CATALOGUE OF THE SOUTH INDIAN HINDU METAL 
IMAGES IN THE MADRAS GOVERNMENT MUSEUM. 

By F. H. Gravei.y, d.sc., and T. N. Ramachandran, m.a., 
Government Museum, Madras. 



The position occupied by the Madras Museum has enabled it to gather together 
a particularly fine collection of South Indian metal images, mostly Hindu and mostly 
acquired by Government from treasure trove finds. Some were thus acquired as long ago 
as 1872, but most have been obtained during the last thirty years. 

All such images, as has often been pointed out, are religious in purpose. With few 
exceptions they are designed to remind worshippers of the Divine, conceived by Hindu 
philosophy as the Impersonal Absolute and by Hindu bhakti (devotion) as the Ixjrd and 
Divine Lover of believers. In the best images something of both these aspects finds 
expression, often rendering them difficult of appreciation by those unfamiliar with Hindu 
feelings. In addition to this, every image must conform to the pattern laid down for it by 
tradition. These patterns are prescribed in such detail in the silpa-sastras or crafts- 
men’s handbook — which is regarded as a sacred canon of divine origin — that doubts have 
been expressed as to whether such rigid rules can leave any scope for the expression of 
art that is really great in the sense of being universal ; and only half a century ago Hindu 
images were generally regarded in the. West as having little or no artistic significance. 
The general opinion is now, however, very different and in some quarters seems to have 
swung to an almost equally uncritical extreme in the opposite direction. The answer 
of the Madras Museum collection to this question of the artistic value of Hindu images, 
can best, wc think, be indicated by drawing attention to the well known N'ataraja image 
from Tiruvelangadu (Natesa No. 5, pi. xviii, fig. 2) and to Vishnu No. I (pi. i, fig. I), 
Rama No. I (pi. vii), Hanuman No. I (pi. vi, fig. 2) and Narasimha No- 5 (Yoganara- 
simha, pi. v) on the one hand as compared with Srinivasa (= Vishnu) No. 4 (pi- iv, fig. i), 
Rama No. 2 (pi. viii, fig. 2). Hanuman No. 4 (pi. vi, fig. 3) and Narasimha No. 2 (pi. vi, 
fig. I) on the other. But it must not be forgotten that to the Hindu worshipper the 
latter four afford all that is required, and may even seem preferable to the former four by 
reason of their sharper and more detailed finish, emphasizing traditional form with all 
its symbolism. 

Hanuman No. 1 and Narasimha No. 5 provide an answer to another criticism that 
has been levelled against Hindu art — that it cannot be really good because much of its 
subject-matter is grotesque or even positively ugly. For they well illustrate the way in 
which Hindu artists have succeeded in giving expression to true artistic feeling even 
through such apparently unpromising traditional forms. Unfortunately our figures do 
not do full justice to the originals. 




1 



Bulletin, Madras Government Museum- 



[G.S. l, 2 , 



Hindu sculptors form a special caste, which has sometimes been likened to one of the 
craftsmen’s guilds of mediaeval Europe ; and investigators have pointed out that the nearest 
European parallels to the generalized type of facial expression characteristic of Indian 
work are to be found among the imaginative stone figures carved by members of these 
guilds for Gothic cathedrals. It was when Rodin was preparing a volume of essays on 
the cathedrals of France that he was attracted to Indian art through the analogies he 
noticed. To any in Europe who still find Indian art too remote for comprehension this 
may suggest a possible mode of approach. 

In the following account of the Hindu section of the Madras Museum collection of 
South Indian metal images we have aimed at bringing to public notice the whole contents 
of the collection rather than at exhaustive treatment of any of the specimens.' We hope 
that the attention thus drawn to them will encourage qualified artists to treat others of the 
finest examples as Rodin has already treated two of the Natarajas (see below, p. 4). 

The catalogue was commenced by the late Mr. Srinivasa Raghava Ayyangar several 
years ago- But pressure of other archaeological and numismatic work made progress 
slow, and when he had later to devote his whole time to numismatics he handed over his 
notes to the present authors, who are also indebted to his intimate knowledge of Vaishna- 
vite tradition for help in identifying some of the images of Vaishnavite saints, both 
alvars and acharyas, the iconography of which presents problems of special difficulty. 
Wc arc also indebted to Pandit E. R. Krishnamachar of the Madras Government Oriental 
Manuscripts Library for further help in this connection. 

Diacritical marks have been inserted in all names or terms italicized in the summaries 
of iconography, costume, etc,, but have been avoided elsewhere except in the case of a 
few names which do not occur in these summaries. 

Many of the images in the collection have long been in need of chemical restoration. 
The post of archaeological chemist in the Museum was therefore established in 1930, 
and filled by Mr. S. Paramasivan. Without his help many of the images described 
below could not have been satisfactorily dealt with, their details being more or less 
completely obscured by corrosion. This work, especially since the installation of the 
apparatus for electrolytic treatment, has been invaluable to us. 

We have also to thank Mr. R. F. Stoney, late of Madras Public Works Department, and 
the executors of the late Mr. C. W. E. Cotton, LC.S., for permission to describe and 
photograph certain images of special interest in their possession, and Prof. Jouveau- 
Dubreuil and the authorities of the MusccGuimet in Paris for enabling us to describe and 
figure Chandrasekhara No. I with its inscription. 

* Present financial conditions hare unfortnnately compelled a* to redone toa minimum Use writs of plate, originally 
planned, which are practically confined to »hat is needed to Illustrate the points discussed in the archaeological 
lection of this introduction (pp. 20-47) nnd the analysis of treasure trove finds (pp. 47—61). We hone that il may be 
possible at a later date to itrtee plates of other images, with mote special reference to iconography. 




1932 ] 



Hindu Metal linages. 



3 



PREVIOUS WORK ON METAL IMAGES FROM SOUTH INDIA AND CEYLON. 

The earliest modem account of South Indian metal images appears to be that of 
“Some Buddhist Bronzes, and Relics of Buddha” published by Robert Sewell in 1895,' 
though a brief reference to the same find was made in a report submitted to Government 
by the Collector of Bezwada in 1870 and published in the Indian Antiquary* more than 
twenty years earlier. Not for another ten years, however, did the importance of South 
Indian metal images begin to receive any kind of general recognition, a recognition that 
came largely as a result of the work of Havcll* and Coomaraswaray. The latter author 
published an illustrated paper on some “ Mahayana Buddhist Images from Ceylon and 
Java" in 1909* and in 1910 his ‘‘Selected Examples of Indian Art ”, among which are 
included several metal images from Ceylon and South India. In 1910 there also appeared 
Arunachalam’s “ Ancient Bronzes in the Colombo Museum 

Vincent Smith’s “History of Fine Art in India and Ceylon”, first published in 1911 
and extensively revised by Codrington in 1930, which has done much to show the relation 
of Indian art to Indian history, devotes several pages to metal images from South India 
and Ceylon. Such images are dealt with from another point of view inCoomaraswamy’s 
“Arts and Crafts of India and Ceylon" published in 1913 in the World of Art scries. 
And drawings of several images belonging to the Madras Museum Collection are in- 
cluded among the “Illustrations of Metal Works in Brass and Copper, mostly South 
Indian” by Thurston, Velayuda Asari and Hadaway, printed in 1913 at the Madras 
Government Press, “ not for sale 

In 1914 the Colombo Museum published in its Memoirs Coomaraswamy’s “ Bronzes 
from Ceylon, chiefly in the Colombo Museum ”, the only extensive work devoted 
exclusively to Ceylon metal images. The same author’s “ Visvakarma ”, published in the 
same year, contains illustrations of metal images from both India and Ceylon. In the' 
following year (1915) the Indian Society of Oriental Art published O. C.Gangoly's “South 
Indian Bronzes”, the fullest treatment of the subject that has yet appeared. In 1916 
H. Krishna Sastri's “South Indian Images of Gods and Goddesses" was published at 
the Madras Government Press. 

The existence of South Indian portrait statues in metal first became generally known 
in 1915, when several were figured in Ganguly’s “South Indian Bronzes” and H. Krishna 
Sastri described and figured some from a temple in Tirupati*. Special attention has 



* J • AiMtc Set., 1895, pp. 617-63/. s pt. 

• Vol. 1, 187a, p. 133. 

• e " Indian Sculpture and Painting” fipoti, with a retried and largely rewritten edition In !9tS) and •• The 
Ideils of Indian Art" (191 «). In the latter the Tirovelangadu KnUraja wm figured fur the fin* lime. 

• J. Roy. Asiatic Sec., 1009, pp. *»3-*97. 3 P 1 - 

• Syetis Zeyienica, VI, pp. J7-74. >5 P>.. 6 

• Asm. R*p., 191 «-i*. Arti. S*n>. /nd., p. 189, pi. laavl. 

I -A 




4 



Bulletin, Madras Government Museum. 



[G£. I, 2 , 



recently been paid to them by T. G. Aravamuthan in his “ South Indian Portraits in Stone 
and Metal ” 1 and " Portrait Sculpture in South India 

Rodin's memoir on “ La Danse de Civa " with twelve magnificent illustrations of 
two metal images from the Madras Museum (Natcsa Nos. 3 and 5 ) appeared in Ars Asiatica 
in 1921 and is much the most detailed study of any South Indian images that has yet 
been made. 

In 1922 Coomaraswamy published a short account of some Saivitc images, including a 
number of metal ones from South India that had been acquired by the Boston Museum 
of Fine Arts*; and in 1923 he published his “Catalogue of the Indian Collections in the 
Museum of Fine Arts. Boston ” and his M Portfolio of Indian Art ", in both of which South 
Indian metal images find a place. Mention may also be made here of his “ Bibliographies 
of Indian Art” which appeared in 1925. His “History of Indian and Indonesian Art”. 
Iiubli&hed in 1927 contains only a very brief reference to South Indian metal images, with 
a few illustrations, and adds nothing new concerning them. 

A paper on ‘ Indian Bronzes" by K. N. Sitaram appeared in the Connissenr for June 
1024*, in which a number of images arc figured, chiefly from the Victoria and Albert, and 
Leyden Museums 1 . 

" Southern Indian Bronzes " form the subject of Vo!. I of O. C Gangoly’s Little Books 
on Asiatic Art. This book which was published in 1927 . provides a useful and well illus- 
trated brief introduction to the subject. It must not be confused with his earlier and 
much more extensive treatise “South Indian Brunzes" to which reference has already 
been marie. Several noteworthy papers on South Indian metal images have been 
attributed to Bnpam, his “illustrated quarterly journal of oriental art, chiefly Indian — 

1921. A Statuette of a Saiva Devotee, by the Editor. 

1922 . Notes on the Composition of Line in Nataraja Images, by W. S. Hadaway. 

Note on a dated Nataraja from Belur, by W. S. Hadaway. 

1924. Notes on two Jaina Metal Images, by W. S. Hadaway. 

• Lane * Cn., L«0'U.a, 193 ». 

• India Society, l-oodon. 1931. 

• Bmli. Jfnr. /.<•* Am, Hut n XX, pp. « 5 — *♦> 10 

• J*»g«s 05-71, lB Kit lie* 3 pi. We Me indebted to Mr. Codringtoa for cnlling our attention to this paper. 

• TV t.iokca lot from tbe Victoria aryl Albert Mar com ibown in Sitaram's tut plate ax “ Sira (?) 
An lent iV.at* wont* f.gjr: " it of special interest on accottnt of its apparent antiquity. Nothing it said in the 
leU as to the reasons for the ■ declination and period given. Hiving only a Bugle pair of arms, and a lotus but 
Ba oa of 5 i*a‘» tpeciai eat emi .c the hair. Chaodikesvsta seems tu us a more probable identification, and this 
,«<*.,*» cnafisutioc from the faa that the left hand Is 1 st the Icataka pone as If to hold something in exact!/ the 
puatxa ed the axe of Lhsndiket.ara No. t uf the Madras Mosentn eu. lection. The right arm Is unfortunately broken 
ori atom tbs eitow. If. however, our identification is correct, the Image is unlikely tote s Pal lava one. Nor, 
tVngh Cheotihesrara is the one Snivite saint of whom Psllara me. get are known, in these images h» always stand* 
idut £ivi with heads in an/alt pone and holding neither ate nor flowet*. independent images with axe or Sowers 
fearing • , pMvullj cook into use only In Chois time*.